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Q&A about the GRC (Graduate Recruitment Centre)

Category: Business Processes European Finance Global & European Market Access Global Finance Global Marketing R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs | (0) comments

If you are reading this graduate blog post, you were likely invited for the Graduate Recruitment Centre (GRC) in Copenhagen next week – so first of all congratulations! You are in for a fun and intense day filled with group exercises, presentations and networking. This blog post is based on three questions I have received from a candidate participating at the GRC next week, so I hope the rest of you can use these answers as well.

 

1. How do I prepare my personal compass?

The personal compass is your opportunity to demonstrate to the assessors who you are as a person deep down. Use the presentation of your personal compass to tell the assessors your story and include personal elements you wouldn’t normally put in a CV or application. The aim for this exercise is to get to know you better and learn more about what drives and motivates you. A good advice is to prepare examples from your past experiences that demonstrate how you behave in specific situations. This is also highly relevant in the interviews many of you will have on Monday.

 

2. How do I make the best impression during the GRC?

It might sound a little lame, but you give the best impression by being yourself! You were chosen for a reason and you were chosen among a lot of talented people, so keep in mind that Novo Nordisk finds YOU interesting. To give the best possible impression, think about why you are interested in the pharmaceutical industry, Novo Nordisk as a company, and the graduate programme you applied for. A big and important part of the GRC is the group exercises where you engage in problem-solving tasks. Here you will be assessed on what role you take in the group, how you contribute to the group dynamics and how good a team-player you are. Don’t hesitate to take initiative, but do it in humble way where you make room for the other group members as well.

 

3. What was your personal impression of GRC last year? How did you like it? Was it stressful? Were there any social activities etc.?

My impression of the GRC last year was really good! I didn’t quite know what to expect, but was positively surprised by how great and fun the experience was. The schedule was definitely tight (even though we had two days), but I didn’t find it stressful. You will have breaks during the day where there is time to mingle and get to know the other candidates. In regards to social activities there is a dinner at night (which I assume you already know), where you are not assessed and can enjoy the nice atmosphere and food together with some of us current graduates and the assessors.

 

GRC

A picture from the GRC 2016

Let me know if you have comments or more questions and read Mathilde’s GRC tips right here.

I wish you the best of luck – don’t forget that you deserve to be there, so give everything you have, this is the only chance! I can recommend to watch some motivational TedTalks if you need a little extra energy.

I look forward to see you all the GRC!

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Before 30 Years Old

Category: International Operations Business | (0) comments

“Before 30 years old, follow somebody. Go to a small company. Normally, in a big company, it is good to learn processing; you are part of a big machine. But when you go to a small company, you learn the passion, you learn the dreams. You learn how to do a lot of things at one time. So before 30 years old, it’s not which company you go to, it’s which boss you follow. That’s very important. A good boss teaches you differently.” – Jack Ma

Just in case you don’t know him, he’s the founder of Alibaba Group and one of the most successful businessmen in the world. When I was doing my masters, I had tons of time to watch his interviews and the quote above is probably one of my favorites.

So you might ask, if he said to go to “a small company”, why am I working for Novo Nordisk, one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world? Well, I asked myself that too almost 2 years ago!!!

Fast forward to today, I am on my final rotation in my 3rd country and I can answer the question already. Why am I working for Novo Nordisk and why I would recommend the IO Business Graduate Programme.

  1. “Go to a small company” – One of the best things of the IO Business Graduate programme which I only realized now is that you start in the affiliate. When I started, I felt sort of disappointed and bad that I needed to go back to the Philippines after doing my masters in 1st world countries. After enjoying the convenience and safety of 1st world countries, I had to go back to a 3rd world country once again. But you know what, once I figured out that the affiliate was actually growing in double digits, I felt relieved. It got me excited! Yes, Novo Nordisk is a big company globally indeed but in the affiliate level, it is still rapidly growing and it has a lot of challenges ahead. I knew then that the opportunities for learning would be great and in this stage of my career, that’s the perfect breeding ground. It is like joining a small company after all!
  2. You learn the passion, you learn the dreams. You learn how to do a lot of things at one time.” – As a graduate in the affiliate, you learn how to do a lot of things at one time. You may be assigned to a Marketing project but you also get to do some tasks related to Commercial effectiveness, Finance, Product supply, Medical Affairs, and sometimes, even changing the printer’s ink! It may sound absurd but that’s actually very interesting because you get to learn to do stuff that you wouldn’t expect. With that too, you get to interact with basically everyone in the office, from the General Manager to the kitchen assistant. If you are open enough, you get to know what makes them wake up early in the morning. You see things in a different perspective and you get to know their ambitions whatever it may be. Those interactions can teach you a lot as a young professional.
  3. it’s which boss you follow” – I have to admit after finishing my MBA, I felt like I knew everything in business. I was that “annoying know-it-all-I’m-too-good-for-you MBA person”. Yeah, I’m sure you know someone like that too and yes, they’re definitely annoying I must say! :D Back to my point, the graduate programme gives you the opportunity to interact with various kinds of bosses in the affiliate and in global. It gives you the opportunity to learn from them and network with them, you also get to have free advice from them on your life goals. They can provide you with good inputs on how to live your life and how to properly grow professionally. These valuable lessons and inputs would have costed thousands of dollars from consultants, but you get to have them for free, or maybe a cup of coffee (which can sometimes still be free too if there’s a coffee machine in the office!)
  4. “A good boss teaches you differently.” – In my first ever meeting with the General Manager of the Philippines back then, he told me, “don’t be afraid to make mistakes.” Throughout my experience in the graduate programme, that phrase has been repeated by all my direct managers. Being a graduate lets you do things that haven’t been done before, it lets you take risks without really worrying too much. If unsuccessful, the worst thing that can happen is that your boss will just ask, “So, what did you learn from it?” Of course, these risks still have to be calculated risks and it should still be within the bounds of the Novo Nordisk Way.
    On another note, I’ve always envisioned myself to be working in the global headquarters right after doing my masters. However, this ambition has changed a lot after the interactions I’ve had during the Market Access and Public Affairs summit.  Vice-Presidents, Directors, senior managers, and various product managers from all over the world were in Copenhagen for a 2-day summit which I was fortunately been invited too. Learning from their experiences and their best practices from their affiliates is probably one of the highlights of my rotation in Denmark. This experience has inspired me even more to work harder in improving patient access to our products.

MAPA summit

 

As a parting shot, I would like to share what my boss in Denmark told me as it’s definitely different from what I have been taught before, “People who walk with the most stars on their shoulders here in HQ are from the affiliates.”

 

Have a good day,

Paul

 

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Networking 101: Do’s and Don’t’s

Category: International Operations Business | (2) comments

First of all, congratulations to those who have already started their interview processes. It’s going to be an exciting journey and like what my mentor has told me before, “enjoy and just be yourself!”

Over the last several days, I have received multiple emails asking for information, personal tips, and questions about the graduate programmes. I’ll just share my top 5 do’s and 5 don’t’s when you’re networking.

Top 5 Do’s

  1. Introduce yourself properly – It’s definitely a pleasure when someone reaches out to us and of course, we want to know more about you too. You’ve probably mastered your elevator pitch and it doesn’t hurt to include that as your opening statement in your email.
  2. Be punctual, don’t be late – It’s a given. When you try to schedule a call, do it at the specified time. Avoid getting late. :)
  3. Use English first – As much as we love being in your countries, some of us unfortunately do not speak the language yet. We want to understand what you want so we know what to give you.
  4. Send us a list of your questions –We want you to succeed in your application and we would most likely give out information (without spoiling your journey).  I learned this the hard way when I was networking before. When I finally met up with the person I was going to talk to, I forgot 4-5 crucial questions I needed to ask. Ever since then, I would already include my questions in the email and if I have further clarifications, I can ask the person during the meeting. Another tip, give us a heads up in the beginning of the email that you have a lot of questions. This way, we can set time aside to answer your questions properly without rushing.
  5. Keep us updated – It would be great to learn about your progress whatever the outcome is. The people I reached out to when I was still applying became my good friends and most importantly, valuable contacts when I started working. Keep the network open.

Top 5 Don’ts

  1. Ask salary questions – As a candidate, never ask about the salary at this stage. First, it’s very personal. Second, you should focus on the getting the position and getting to know the programme and the company more. Third, money isn’t everything in life.
  2. Treat it as a date – Getting invited for coffee, lunch or dinner is nice but be professional and keep it that way. Don’t flirt while exchanging messages and most importantly, during the meeting. Also, there’s an app for that! NOTE: just to be clear, a colleague just told me and I didn’t experience this first hand. ;)
  3. Be too formal – Strike a balance between being too formal and too friendly. Just relax, we’ve been through that situation too and don’t be too uptight when conducting your informal interview/networking. It’s an informal interview and we don’t decide if you get the position or not, that’s not our job. At the same time, don’t be too friendly and comfortable since that would make us uncomfortable.
  4. Be too personal – Keep the scope of your questions in a professional level. Don’t ask us about personal questions that are not related to the position. At the same time, don’t share your personal life story. Yes, we want to get to know you too but not to that level yet.
  5. Process specifics – As much as we want to help you succeed, don’t ask about when the next interview will be, what specific questions were asked, and what business cases will be discussed. You can ask your interviewer for those information, don’t be shy. Also, each country has their own interview and screening process before the GRC in Denmark so whatever happened in the Philippines might not be the same elsewhere.

 

I hope you keep these tips in mind when doing your networking/informal interviews. Thank you for reading and good luck in your interview process! Feel free to reach out!

 

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If there’s one word to describe our experience…

Category: International Operations Business | (0) comments

One of the most amazing things that can happen during the graduate programme is that you get to grow your network exponentially. You get to meet colleagues from all over the world, especially on your 2nd rotation.

In the International Operations Business Programme 2015 batch, there’s a Mexican (Guillermo), Brazilian (Joao), Colombian (Julianna), Bangladeshi (Saifur), Iranian (Navid), Vietnamese (Anh), Kenyan (Christine), Egyptian (Yasminah), Indonesian (Yudha), Russian (Nikita) and Philippines (me!). For our 2nd rotation in Denmark, we lived close to each other and we would have gatherings where we would share our national dishes, conutry’s tourist spots, cultural norms, and traditional dances. (In my case however, I’m embarassed to say that I don’t know any Philippine dances so I taught them “the Nae Nae” – and yes, I learned that while doing my masters in the United States and I can dance that very well too). We surely had a lot of fun in Copenhagen and those memories will last us a lifetime.

As we start our final rotations, I emailed each one of them to share their new office views and I asked them to describe their graduate experience in one word. For part 1, I will be featuring Anh (Vietnamese), Julianna(Colombian), Nikita (Russian), Yasminah (Egyptian), and also myself;

 

AVDY

 

 

“I am Andy/Anh from Vietnam. I am currently in Tehran, Iran.

If there’s one word to describe my experience with the graduate program, it would be ‘unforgettable‘ (memories with friends and prestigious knowledge acquired).”

 

 

 

JRPC

 

 

“Hello! I am Juliana from Colombia. I am currently in Bagsværd, Denmark.

If there’s one word to describe my experience, it would be rEVOLUTIONary”

 

 

 

 

 

Nikita

 

 

“Hello, I am Nikita from Russia. I am currently in Santiago, Chile.

If there’s one word to describe my experience, it would be ‘amazing‘”

 

 

 

 

 

YSES

 

“Hello, I am Yasminah from Egypt. I am currently in Manila, Philippines.

If there is one word to describe my experience, it would be ‘enriching‘.

 

 

 

 

 

PVIA

And this is my current view, I am currently in Bogota, Colombia.

If there is one word to describe my experience, it would be “fantastic

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned, I’ll be posting part 2 in a few days from my colleagues in Kenya, Thailand, Dubai, Mexico, and South Africa.

Also, here’s a tip from my personal experience and from what I have learned in business school. When I wanted to learn more about the International Operations Business Programme 2 years ago, I invited the Malaysian graduate, who was in the Philippines for his 3rd rotation, for a dinner meeting and coffee. Talking to him in person was much better than exchanging emails. Plus, he was more open to answering my questions.

Good luck!

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Mornings at Kobenhavn Lufthavn (Copenhagen Airport)

Category: International Operations Business | (4) comments

Monday, it’s 4:30 AM and my alarm goes off. It’s one of those mornings when I needed to fly to one of the affiliates in Europe for a project meeting. I got out of bed quickly, did my morning routine, called the cab, and set off for the airport.

Transportation in Denmark is very convenient and dependable (compared to Philippine standards). I got to the airport precisely at 5:30 am and went directly to the security check. Right after the security screening, I got a cart and as I looked back, lo and behold, it was the 2-time Harvard Best Performing CEO of the World: Novo Nordisk’s very own Lars Rabien Sørensen. He was alone and without any assistants or bodyguards tailing him. Coming from a country which was proudly (and embarrassingly) awarded Selfie Capital of the World by the Time Magazine in 2014 (http://time.com/selfies-cities-world-rankings/), it was an opportunity of a lifetime, burn to the ashes or rise like Pheonix!

I stopped and waited for him, thinking about what to say and contemplating if I should take a selfie with him or not. It was 5:45 AM and as he was approaching, I finally had the courage to say hello and I briefly introduced myself. We exchanged pleasantries, I asked him where he was going and he also asked me where I was going. As we parted ways and went to our respective gates, we wished each other a safe flight and said goodbye.

Certainly, it was one of the most memorable experiences I had while working in the Global Headquarters in Denmark because it demonstrated to me a working culture that has a flat structure in contrast to the Philippines’ working culture. In the Philippines, it was very rare to talk to bosses unless spoken to, especially western foreign bosses. It’s a sad reality coming from a culture with more than 450 years of being under foreign rule (400 years – Spain, 50 years – United States) although I must say that there has been a significant shift in the last couple of years. Also, local bosses in the Philippines tend to think too highly of themselves which is not very conducive for collaboration. That’s what I found interesting in Denmark, you can simply say hello to everyone, even the big bosses. I even rode the same public transportation with some Corporate Vice Presidents, Directors, and Senior Global Managers, and etc. The office layout is very open and you can get seated and learn beside these amazing people. If you don’t know anything and you have questions, you can simply ask and book a meeting room. Everyone is pretty much approachable and this trait is very important for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Indeed, working in Denmark is one of the best experiences I’ll ever have. It’s not my ambition to work there again any time soon as I know that I have a long way to go in terms of front-line experience and local and regional market execution. My ambition is to go up the ranks first locally and hopefully the International Operations Graduate Programme will have provided me with this opportunity for the future, by going back to the Philippines with a global experience after this rotation.

Now you may be wondering if I took a selfie with our then-CEO or not, the answer is no. Considering all factors; 5:45 AM, Monday, assumingly without breakfast and coffee, I didn’t want to be that annoying person. I took the higher ground and presented my professional-self to the biggest boss of the company. In that brief moment, I was very humbled.

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Is a graduate position the only option?

Category: Business Processes European Finance Global & European Market Access Global Finance Global Marketing Global Procurement International Operations Business International Operations Finance Product Supply R&D Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control Graduate Programme R&D Global Development R&D Regulatory Affairs | (14) comments

The answer to that question, is of course no! There are many ways to kick-start your career in Novo Nordisk. Novo Nordisk is a global leader within diabetes care, and to continue our business success we need to attract young, qualified people, including students and recently graduated talents. In this blog post, I will take you through some of the many opportunities within Novo Nordisk. Below you will find three sections, based on your graduation timeframe, which will make it easier for you to find the most relevant information. As I imagine that a lot of you reading this blog are students, I will focus a little extra on the student opportunities in Novo Nordisk and base it on my own experience back when I was a Public Health student.

 

Graduated in 2016 or 2017? Apply for a graduate position!

If you graduated in 2016 or will graduate this year, you can apply for a graduate position. As you probably already know, the Novo Nordisk graduate programme is a talent programme for recently graduated master students. In 2017 we offer 30 global graduate positions within Research & Development, Finance & Procurement, and Marketing, Business & HR. Within these three categories, you can choose between 11 different programmes, including both a Global and a European market access track. As I wrote in my last blog post, I am part of the European Market Access programme, which is a new programme covering an extremely exciting area of the business. The market access environment is becoming increasingly challenging and therefore it will become more and more important.

You can read a lot more about the graduate programmes in the posts on this blog or find more information on the website here. Apply from 20 January 2017 until 12 February 2017 by completing the online application and by providing a 1-minute video of yourself explaining why you are the ideal candidate for the position. Keep an eye out for blog posts in the near future touching upon the application process or read some of the older posts, like this one or this one.

 

Graduated in 2015 or earlier? Apply for a full-time position!

A graduate position is a unique and amazing opportunity, but it is not the only way to get your life-changing career going. Novo Nordisk is a big and successful company with more than 40,000 employees in over 75 countries. So, naturally a lot of interesting positions are available within various areas. Novo Nordisk believes in making a difference to both patients and society, but we also believe that it is crucial to grow and develop employees in order to make such a difference. Therefore, by joining Novo Nordisk – in any full-time position – you will experience a strong focus on personal and professional development. For example, you might encounter the talent and leadership development programme, and you will definitely come across the individual development plan, which includes both short-term and long-term goals for your career. So, if you don’t see a track in the graduate programmes that speaks to your professional interest or if you are graduating outside of the timeframe, there are still plenty of exciting job opportunities! You can see all available positions here and sign up for the email job agent here.

 

Don’t have a master degree yet? Apply for one the many student opportunities!

If you are a student and will graduate in 2018 or later, you still have the possibility to get to know Novo Nordisk better. Novo Nordisk is very interested in getting to know the talents of tomorrow, including students taking the first step on their career path. For that reason, Novo Nordisk offers internships, student assistant jobs and even has a yearly case competition called Innovation in Action. While I was a Public Health student, I participated in the case competition and I had an Internship for six months working full-time.

Innovation in Action is a unique opportunity to show your talent, test your problem solving skills, and network with other students and employees from Novo Nordisk, including people from top management. The case competition is an intense one-day event where students are challenged to work together and present their solution to a real and highly relevant case. The case competition is relevant for master students from all academic backgrounds, nationalities and universities. In order to be selected, you must demonstrate that you are a team-player and that you have a creative and innovative mind-set.

I participated in Innovation in Action in the fall of 2015, where the case asked us to come up with an innovative approach to how Novo Nordisk can contribute to improving the education of healthcare professionals on obesity and on its treatment options. Participating in Innovation in Action was my first encounter with Novo Nordisk, and I was happy to confirm my positive view of the company. I had a great experience and my fantastic team even ended up winning the case competition!

iia-2015

Innovation in Action 2015

 

Novo Nordisk offers a lot of different internships and they are a great way for master students to get valuable, hands-on work experience. It is an opportunity for a unique learning experience and a chance to turn theory into practice. To work as a Novo Nordisk intern, you are expected to be ambitious and willing to learn. So, if you are eager to start a life-changing career in Novo Nordisk, like I was, read more about internships here and find the available positions here.

I started an internship in Cities Changing Diabetes and became even more excited about working for Novo Nordisk. The Cities Changing Diabetes programme is Novo Nordisk’s response to the urgent challenge caused by the dramatic rise of urban diabetes. This was the perfect match for a Public Health enthusiast like me, especially because I got to work with research and evidence generation both quantitatively and qualitatively. I learned a lot and took so many positive experiences with me into the graduate programme – I can highly recommend spending six months on an internship, if you want to get a feeling of how it is to work in one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

 

To tie a bow on my student experiences with Novo Nordisk, I had the opportunity to come up with the case for Innovation in Action 2016, where the challenges with urban diabetes in Shanghai (part of the Cities Changing Diabetes programme) became the topic. Furthermore, I facilitated a Danish group and the winning group from the US, who was invited to Denmark to present to Novo Nordisk’s top management together with the winning group from Denmark. This was a great experience, having been in the students’ shoes just one year before.

 

I hope you found this overview of the many possibilities in Novo Nordisk valuable and please reach out by writing a comment if you have any questions or comments.

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People around matter!

Category: International Operations Finance | (0) comments

When and how do I learn the most?..

What motivates me the most?..

These are two different questions but I came to a conclusion that the answer to both of them for me is very similar…

Before jumping to my recent learnings, I will take a few moments to get you up to date on my current story. My International Operations (IO) Finance Graduate Programme is getting closer and closer to an end. I have been around in different functions and levels of the organisation: in Business Area/affiliate role, in Sales regional office and headquarters collaborating with various departments on projects ranging from IT and waste management to Global Research. The content of work also varied from operational tasks and tactical process design to strategic projects and initiatives. A good palette of functions, geographies, formats of tasks and (most importantly!) people…

My first day in Business Area Commonwealth of Independent States (BACIS) office, Moscow. During one of my first lunches with the team I was impressed to discuss not only my background and master thesis that I had just successfully defended; relatively soon we dove into discussions related to organisational development, employee motivation, behavioural economics, etc. I felt at ease to share my recent findings from HBR or Economist, ask questions about status quo in the organisation and potential areas for improvement. Collaboration with my first manager and department director ensured that I felt comfortable to ask questions, openly share my ideas and ask for feedback. These people remained an integral part of my learning journey even when I left BACIS organisation for further rotations.

…And many many more helpful and supportive people in the Russian affiliate and BACIS office…

My first day in internal consultancy department (Novo Nordisk Consulting). I got introduced to the department, went over a few organisational lectures and was allocated to my first project. After having quickly met my project manager, I was right away given a task to put together a few slides. The first challenge was by far not the hardest task that I was given afterwards on the projects. It was however a preview and early indication of the work rhythm and spirit in the team. From the first task onwards, my work in a new department was highly engaging and challenging; every teammate was given his or her share of responsibility and freedom to drive tasks and take the initiative. I quickly realised that my project manager is very result-oriented (as opposed to me sometimes); therefore, he inspired me to approach tasks execution as efficient and lean as possible.

Another person who I was fortunate enough to have met during the rotation was my development manager. High requirements to quality of deliverables (including re-doing one document over and over again to reach the required standard), practical recommendations related to problem structuring, top-down communication and many other issues in question were invaluable for my personal development.

One of the project owners was very inspiring for me as a people manager role model, a great example of how well strength-based feedback and self-development can work (how often do you reflect upon what you are really good at and celebrate success achieved due to your merits?) and in general how value-adding knowledge sharing can be…

…And many many more motivating and astonishing people in headquarters…

My 135th day with IO Finance and Local Manufacturing & Business Development teams (and other amazing colleagues in IO regional office). My rotation is still not over, thus I wouldn’t sum the experience up just yet as every day is so enriching in terms of self-learning and self-assessment thanks to diverse people around: crisis management, leading negotiations, self-organisation and task prioritisation, situational leadership, etc.

I hope my remaining one month in the department and Programme would still be rich and vivid with learnings and supportive atmosphere formed by… yes, you guessed it: people around me!

I have a short story to share:

A mother wished to encourage her small girl’s interest in the piano, so she took her to a local concert featuring an excellent pianist. In the entrance foyer the mother met an old friend and the two stopped to talk. The little girl was keen to see inside the hall and so wandered off, unnoticed by her mother. The girl’s mother became concerned when she entered the hall and could see no sign of her daughter. The staff was notified and an announcement was made asking the audience to look out for the lost little girl. With the concert due to start, the little girl had still not been found. In preparation for the pianist’s entrance, the curtains drew aside, to reveal the little girl sitting at the great piano, focused in concentration, quietly picking out the notes of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’.

The audience’s amusement turned to curiosity when the pianist entered the stage, walked up to the little girl, and said “Keep playing.”

The pianist sat down beside her, listened for a few seconds, and whispered some more words of encouragement. He then began quietly to play a bass accompaniment, and then a few bars later reached around the little girl to add more accompaniment. At the end of the impromptu performance the audience applauded loudly as the pianist took the little girl back to her seat to be reunited with her mother. The experience was inspirational for everyone, not least the small girl.

…I don’t know about you but I learned that people around me matter A LOT! They can inspire and motivate, support and teach, encourage and impact choices. My hopeful and (a little) idealistic wish is to keep on learning from people around me. And keep on meeting many many more talented and impressive people along the long way ahead…

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Rotation Abroad: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Category: Global Finance | (3) comments

Our application window is now open and graduates are posting all sort of relevant tips and tricks on how to make a successful application. In the meantime, I decided to share my experience from the rotation abroad to give your some inspiration.

I have spent the last 4 months in beautiful Kuala Lumpur, in position of a finance analyst in the Business Area office – a regional headquarter for our South-East Asia Operations. I must admit that even though it has been my dream destination from the very start of the graduate programme, it was still a drastic change in all sorts of ways. It is my first time living in Asia, an encounter with a completely different culture, in a place where family and friends are no longer just a couple-of-hours flight away. Kuala Lumpur is a buzzy multicultural business hub, so it took some adjusting after calm and structured Copenhagen. Needless to say, there were times of frustration and misunderstanding, but I value every single one of these experiences, because it gave me great insights into my own preferences regarding work and lifestyle.

 View from the office and KL by night

View from the office         KL by night

Job wise, I found myself in a completely different surrounding, too: I am now a part of a smaller team, where the proximity to markets puts you in a very dynamic setting, and you need to make smart decisions – fast! Smaller team also means that you are involved in several projects simultaneously. In my first 4 months, I have been juggling the budgeting process, organizing a functional meeting in Manila for 40 participants and managing implementation a new sourcing tool, among other things. It is also here where I first experienced finance partnering in its core: apart from number-crunching, you need to understand the local business model and be smart about managing your stakeholders in order to create value for your team.

Finance, Legal and IT meeting in Manila

Social activity        Group picture

Luckily, some things are true about Novo Nordisk in all parts of the world – and one of them is a close-knit and supporting community. Living in a new country by yourself can get lonely at times, but I never felt left out thanks to my friendly local and expat colleagues who are always up for something fun after work. And not to forget, the graduate family is always there no matter where you are.
Lost in Hong Kong

Lost in Hong Kong

with  fellow graduates  who are currently rotating in Vietnam and Philippines

All in all, it has been a truly life-changing experience for me so far, and there are even more exciting things to look forward to in the next two months: another functional meeting, now in Bangkok, and a field trip with a Malaysian sales representative.

Hope this gave you a little insight into a graduate rotation abroad, feel free to leave a comment in case you have any questions and don’t forget to apply before January 10th 2016.

All the best,

Nika

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An insider opinion about the Graduate Programme, routine, and motivation.

Category: International Operations Business | (5) comments

As the application deadline gets closer and closer, more and more people may be wondering: how the Graduate Programme looks like from the inside? How ‘routine’ fits in? And how motivated I am after more than a year as an IO Business Graduate? Well, if you want to know my answer to these questions, you better read this blog.

How the Graduate Programme looks from the inside on a regular day? Do I have to deal with routine?

In my experience, it is very hard to find a ‘regular’ day as graduate because you will have huge responsibility over your given projects. Of course you may enjoy working in some projects/tasks more than others, but the bottom line is that each one of them has an real impact on your current department and ultimately on the company performance.

You can expect a lot of respect and trust on how you manage your time and at the same time you can have as much guidance/coaching from your colleagues as you want to. As a consequence you can expect lots of learning and innovation opportunities which may give little-to-none room for routine.

What is my motivational level after 15 months of being a Graduate?

It is true that specific projects/tasks will change according to the rotation and specific Programme you are in; nevertheless I can say that on every day in Novo Nordisk I arrive to the office with a very clear motivation: to change something for the better.

I do not always have an idea of what precisely I will change, or how I will be able to do it; it could be during a meeting I’ve been asked to attend, or while presenting an idea in front of my colleagues, or even while performing some not-so-funny task you need to complete in order to move forward with your project. Nevertheless, one thing I’m certain about is that the Graduate Programme gives me the key to unlock my potential, by challenging me on a daily basis and by knowing that I am part of doing business which improves lives.

Some people say that you may never know what is around the corner in a growing company such a Novo Nordisk, however to me one word comes to my mind: Opportunity. Therefore my question for you is: are you ready to be challenged and realise your potential?

Drop any comment of concern you may have and let’s start the conversation!

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Why I joined despite having no background in pharmaceuticals

Category: International Operations Business | (4) comments

“Why don’t you try applying in the pharmaceutical industry?,” I was asked in one of the networking events I attended in May 2014. Little did I know then, that question would have a big factor in my life. I never pictured myself to be working in the pharmaceutical industry because it was very foreign to me until that very faithful Saturday night.

During the last few months of business school, I was really active in attending networking events hoping to get valuable connections and of course, eating free food! Although networking events were really challenging for me because I came from a reserved culture, I needed to do what I had to do. I was an unemployed business student with my graduation looming so I felt extremely pressured. I’m certain that most of you can relate to that feeling too.

So here I was with my plate full of cocktail food (yes, free food is always good!), going around the hall and doing my 30 second elevator spiel to new acquaintances. I was doing that until my classmate grabbed me and introduced me to this executive who said she worked for a global pharmaceutical company. As I was very curious and interested, I asked her what she does and if she had a prior background in medicine. She said that to be in this industry, you don’t necessarily need a science or medicine background because the companies would teach you what you needed to know and train you with tools once you are in your business role. With those words, I got more curious so I asked her more questions. One of my questions was “if there’s one thing that she likes the most in this industry, what would it be?” and she said that she’s passionate about making an impact on the lives of people and this business directly does that. Once again, those words raised my interest because I also want to do something that would benefit peoples’ lives. As usual in networking events, I also told her about my background and what I wanted after I graduate. That’s when she asked me the question that changed my life’s direction.

As I was trying to sleep that night and reflecting on that question, I was browsing several companies and job openings in the pharmaceutical industry. It was my first time to look at the industry. Three phrases stood out in one of the job search engines; Novo Nordisk. Business Graduate Programme. In The Philippines.

It was one of those eureka moments and I immediately went out of my bed to read about the company and the programme’s requirements. After researching a bit and reading the blogs, I was really impressed and it swept me off my feet. I knew right there and then that I wanted this position. I really wanted to be part of a global company with the right ethical standards, where I could also grow and learn as an individual. The International Operation Business Programme provided me with all of that. I didn’t wait for the next day to submit all the required documents, I was that excited, despite the deadline being 2 months away!

In my next post, I will share the next steps that I took to get to that first interview. Stay tuned.

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